Hazarizq (‘Rizq’ to his friends) is a creative entrepreneur hailing from Malaysia. Describing himself as a man with big dreams, he dropped out of his studies in International Business and started Ten Points Up, a successful creative production company and have worked closely with notable brands such as Good Vibes Festival, Urbanscapes Festival, Red Bull Europe to name a few. Not to only settle on these laurels, Rizq is currently working on the next big thing called Insporeum. Today we have the pleasure of speaking to him on his grand plan.
Rizq, in your own words, what is Insporeum?
The Insporeum Network is a multidisciplinary Entertainment Media Network looking to challenge the status quo by bringing balance back to business. Through the medium of podcasts, informative videos and entertaining content, Insporeum Network seeks to be the perfect mix of inspiration and entertainment across the digital space.
After Ten Points Up, why you decide to start Insporeum?
While running my first baby Ten Points Up, I have met with so many people and had amazing conversations with them. Half the time, I get super excited with the content of the conversation and tend to forget it the next day because I did not write most of it down. Then again, writing things down isn’t the same if you actually had an actual recording down right? So, I started Insporeum with our podcast as a pillar content. Where I speak to many great individuals, big or small – to tell their stories and learn from them. Our mission at Insporeum is to make these stories permanent and inspiring many.
Moreover, it’s not just a podcast. We have digital shows, series and articles as well. So it feeds the many ways human beings consume content. Not everyone has the same taste in food, but we all want to be fed.
How has the journey been like so far?
It’s definitely an uphill battle, but I would wake up everyday over and over again to take the hits because the vision and the reason behind building Insporeum is so strong. We are bootstrapping everything and building our content with little to no money. Would we love investment? Yes. However, we are looking for partners and investors that can offer collaborative efforts, experiential education and mutual growth; not just financial investment.
What would you say is one of the biggest challenges you faced?
Being turned down here and there from Investors because the business model isn’t something new is not a surprise for me. However, the team is super aligned with the vision of the company and they are willing to take a bit of hits to grow together. I guess the biggest challenge for us is running this on with no money and taming our ideas. We have to develop and strategize our content smartly without hurting our small bank too much.
How are you currently developing Insporeum?
We develop shows, podcasts and series through Insporeum on various platforms in the digital space. At the moment, we are laser focused on social media spaces such as YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn. The current goal is to build loyal early adopting value hunters – we are looking at the first 1,000 before we move forward into stage two. Which includes paid membership or content, merch & many more. Once we get the roll on generating sustaining revenue, that’s when we will shift gears and build even greater things.
The USP is still in the approach for the content. We are bringing balance back to business. We want to show that life isn’t all about the hustle. It is also about having fun.The book REWORK by James Fried and David Hansson inspired me a lot too. When the idea came, Kuala Lumpur & Singapore were listed as two of the top overworked cities in the world. Well, what more can I say.
Are there any industry insights you have discovered that you could share with our readers.
Most of the audience here are still into the entertainment content such as comedy, horror, thrillers, etc – maybe the overworking situation encourages that to release stress. However, we are improving along the way to make professional careers seem entertaining; not in the image society has portrayed of them to educate the audience into the new genre of content. Our podcasts, series and shows bring great value based on the first few testimonials we received.
In a few years, we see ourselves being a fast speed player and the go to platform for professionals big or small. We want Insporeum to be their first choice when it comes to Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Mental, Fitness and Health.
Would you say there any additional barriers you faced launching Insporeum in Asia as opposed to elsewhere in the world?
I mean, Insporeum was built during the time of COVID-19. There really was no option other than home sweet home of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We are happy to have started right here in Kuala Lumpur. The entrepreneur scene is super strong. Players such as Mindvalley & iFlix are all Headquartered here. However, we are looking to grow outside of Malaysia as soon as it’s possible for us to travel again. Looking real bright for Jakarta and the Lion City of Singapore.
What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship in Asia?
I think Asia is super promising. However, I still think it’s all depending on the mentality of the people. I think there’s an extreme where one end is super driven to build businesses, where on the other end wants to try but are too afraid of taking the risks. Of course, it’s definitely fine not taking risks. Some are comfortable being at the foot of a mountain. However, those at the foot of the mountain are always wondering what the view is like from the peak. Not being brave enough to ascend the mountain is what makes most unhappy. The landscape, the infrastructure, especially coming towards IR4.0 the tech and all. It’s more than prepared for the upcoming entrepreneurs, but let’s help create a platform for the people that want to attempt on solving problems and building businesses.
However, the thriving arena in the Southeast Asia region is unbelievable. The growth over the past two decades is exceptional. As much as the countries are not huge players individually, but when we all come together, we are pretty strong as ASEAN. So, I just wanted to say I’m proud to be a Malaysian and to be lucky enough to live in one of the most strategic economic zones in the world.
What are some of the most important entrepreneurial lessons you’ve learnt by working on Insporeum?
People people people. I think too many people get so caught up with the product, idea, execution. That’s why too many leaders micromanage and do not create the proper environment for their people to experiment, make mistakes, learn and grow. I used to micromanage previously. However, I conceptualize my leadership into an analogy –
Every project, we have to imagine that we are on one end of a small island. We have to go to the other side of the island with a jungle in between because that’s where the boat deck is. In the jungle there are several paths and on the various paths, you have the various materials you need individually. You as the leader have to identify who in your team (including yourself) should take which path based on their abilities. Once you figure it out together, then you move into the jungle separately. Don’t micromanage them unless they ask for help. Believe and trust that they will figure it out and meet them at the end with all the materials you need to build the boat and leave the island.
Oftentimes leaders waste too much time thinking of what the others do. They should focus on doing their own task and meet the team at the end of the road. When problems happen then, that’s where leaders come in and figure out how to maneuver from there.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Who knows, we don’t even know what we are gonna eat for dinner tomorrow.
However, there is a dream, I would wanna have built companies and exit twice at least (IPO or Acquisition), I want to help entrepreneurs and businesses grow, reshape education, speak on stage and live a decent life with a happy family. Most importantly, free of covid – if by that time covid is still around, let’s fix healthcare in there as well.
Do you have any words of advice for other aspiring Asian entrepreneurs out there?
Don’t start if you think you need encouraging words, the financial capital or the right partners; you start because you can’t rest and live in peace until you do.